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A novel substance flow analysis model for analysing multi-year phosphorus flow at the regional scale
journal contributionposted on 2016-12-01, 00:00 authored by Rubel Chowdhury, G A Moore, A J Weatherley, M Arora
Achieving sustainable management of phosphorus (P) is crucial for both global food security and global environmental protection. In order to formulate informed policy measures to overcome existing barriers of achieving sustainable P management, there is need for a sound understanding of the nature and magnitude of P flow through various systems at different geographical and temporal scales. So far, there is a limited understanding on the nature and magnitude of P flow over multiple years at the regional scale. In this study, we have developed a novel substance flow analysis (SFA) model in the MATLAB/Simulink® software platform that can be effectively utilized to analyse the nature and magnitude of multi-year P flow at the regional scale. The model is inclusive of all P flows and storage relating to all key systems, subsystems, processes or components, and the associated interactions of P flow required to represent a typical P flow system at the regional scale. In an annual time step, this model can analyse P flow and storage over as many as years required at a time, and therefore, can indicate the trends and changes in P flow and storage over many years, which is not offered by the existing regional scale SFA models of P. The model is flexible enough to allow any modification or the inclusion of any degree of complexity, and therefore, can be utilized for analysing P flow in any region around the world. The application of the model in the case of Gippsland region, Australia has revealed that the model generates essential information about the nature and magnitude of P flow at the regional scale which can be utilized for making improved management decisions towards attaining P sustainability. A systematic reliability check on the findings of model application also indicates that the model produces reliable results.